James Ryan's made it look easy but he feels his rise hasn't been as seamless as it looks

Ireland ad Leinster second row chats to Joe Molloy

BY Raf Diallo 16:23 Wednesday 3 October 2018, 16:23 3 Oct 2018

He's just 22 and has won just under 30 senior caps for Ireland and Leinster. But James Ryan has already won a Six Nations Grand Slam, the Guinness Pro14 and the Heineken Rugby Champions Cup.  

And by the time the next 12 - 18 months are over, he'll hope to make a significant mark at the Rugby World Cup in Japan and do it all again for province and country in the competitions he's already won.

As he faces into a 2018-19 season in which he can build on a stellar previous campaign, Ryan sat down with Joe Molloy for a chat as Goodbody announce partnership with Rugby Players Ireland.

One thing he feels is that his transition from Ireland Under-20 talent to senior star has not been as seamless as he's made it look. 

"It wasn't seamless for me," he said.

Ireland’s James Ryan ©INPHO/Billy Stickland

"Maybe you only really see the games on Saturday night or the Saturday afternoons but there's a lot behind closed doors and there's a lot that goes into it.

"It was a big learning curve for me and as I said I loved it all but certainly there were moments where I had to find my feet."

In terms of specific areas where he's still looking to work on his game, he felt he initially struggled with "the volume of detail that you're given and need to know in terms of number of plays and calls" as well as looking to get used to dealing with "expectation" and "pressure".

Off the field, he is studying History and Politics which is partly inspired by his own family history through the story of his great grandfather who fought in the GPO and was involved in Irish politics. 

"It definitely sparked a bit of an interest definitely. I think I was always naturally interested but when I learned about [my great-grandfather] from a younger age, it did get me thinking and it got me delving into my family's past a bit more and then from learning about that, the interest kind of sparked."

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